SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 11, 2013

Report outlines sex abuse charges

Beverly: 11 former students at Landmark School have made allegations

BY TOM DALTON
STAFF WRITER

---- — The allegations of past sexual abuse or misconduct at the private Landmark School in Beverly are growing.

Three alumni have come forward in recent months to allege they were sexually abused by two former teachers, the school’s board of trustees announced yesterday.

One former student said he was abused in the early 1970s in a school dormitory and at the teacher’s home in Maine.

In another new development, two former Landmark students recently told the school they were inappropriately touched by a former food services employee who worked at the school from 1971-85, the trustees said in a four-page report posted on the school’s website.

In all, the report outlined charges made by 11 former students, in past and new cases, against six former teachers or staff at Landmark, a well-known boarding and day school for children with language-based learning disabilities. The charges range from verbal sexual harassment to sexual abuse.

The latest allegations stem from an investigation the school launched last summer after two alumni accused a former staff member of groping them in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

That former Landmark employee, Howard J. Kasper, was working in the Rockport public schools last year and was placed on indefinite administrative leave by Rockport before the start of the current school year.

Although the trustees’ report does not name Kasper or Rockport, it stated that “recently a settlement was reached by which the teacher no longer works in that school system.”

After the charges against Kasper were brought in July, the school sent letters to more than 4,000 parents, alumni and former faculty members asking anyone with information or allegations to come forward. The report issued yesterday is the result of the responses and the school’s own investigation.

The report by the Landmark trustees does not include the names of alumni who have brought charges or any of the accused employees.

The report also notes that the school has “not received any allegations of sexual abuse against any current Landmark employee.”

The trustees said they have contacted the Essex County district attorney and other authorities about the allegations.

Landmark Headmaster Robert Broudo, who has headed the school for the past 22 years, wrote a letter to the school community which was posted yesterday on the website. In the letter, Broudo said he has worked hard to “create a healthy and safe environment for each and every student and staff member at the school ...

“From this personal place of deep care and concern, I offer my apology to anyone who was harmed by a member of our school community ...” he stated.

Landmark urged anyone with information to contact the school in this continuing investigation.

Tom Dalton can be reached at tdalton@salemnews.com.